Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of computing.

Welcome to the computing reference desk.
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

  • Provide a short header that gives the general topic of the question.
  • Type ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Post your question to only one desk.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. We'll answer here within a few days.
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point.

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual

May 21[edit]

Spare connector on SATA drives[edit]

What is the purpose of the spare 4 pin connector on some SATA drives? Can it be used to daisy chane two SATA drives?-- (talk) 15:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Many drives have jumper blocks which allow you to configure some basic options; in particular, for backwards compatibility with older BIOSes and OSes. Worrying about these was much more common for P-ATA drives, and I don't recall needing to set one for at least five years. These blocks are vendor (and often model) specific, and they're not always fully documented (meaning some of the functions they represent are used only in manufacture and post-manufacture test). So you'll have to find the documentation for your specific drive in order to find out what the connector does. Some examples: Western Digital, Seagate. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:40, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you.-- (talk) 15:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
And many are an RS-232 serial interface you can use a terminal to communicate with the drive.[1] -- Gadget850 talk 17:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Sending an HTML email[edit]

Hi there,
I would like to send an HTML email.
Unfortunately, when I try to send to Gmail, an e-mail with "html\text" headers, Gmail ignores my headers, and just present it as "plain\text".
Does anyone know how to send an HTML e-mail?
Thanks.Exx8 (talk) 05:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Click on the small triangle to the bottom right of the text box. In the pop-up menu make sure "plain text" is unchecked.--Shantavira|feed me 07:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
NO NO, I try to send via a php file into a Gmail account.Exx8 (talk) 09:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean to say that you have written a PHP program to send mail? If so, carefully read PHP mail function documentation. In particular, see the section where they talk about MIME and HTML email. (The mail header is only part of the work you need to do: you must provide a complete and valid multipart message). If you wish, you can write your own code to produce valid MIME multipart email documents, but it is recommended that you use the pre-existing code provided by Pear Mail_Mime (part of the Pear package). Nimur (talk) 11:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Another option is to create an HTML page on a public server, then just provide a link to it in your email. This is often done as a backup method even when the HTML page is sent as part of the email. StuRat (talk) 13:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think either "html\text" or "plain\text" is a valid Content-Type. In my email I see "text/html" or "text/plain", not only with the order reversed but with different punctuation. -- (talk) 20:24, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

List of USB type C devices[edit]

If there a comprehensive list of USB type-C host devices out there? Our article lists four of them, but I suspect there might be more out there. My other car is a cadr (talk) 06:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I doubt you can really make a comprehensive list or if you can, it would be irrelevant within a few months. While USB type-C is still relatively new, you can already buy PCI express cards from China http://www.aliexpress. com/item/Single-USB3-1-Type-C-to-PCI-Express-x4-Converter-Adapter-10Gbps-USB-3-1-Type/32348096169.html http://www.aliexpress. com/item/10pcs-PCI-E-4x-Express-to-USB-3-1-Type-C-USB-C-Dual-Port-Add/32345340902.html. Consumer motherboards are starting to include them (I'm not sure if these have launched but they've been announced). Nil Einne (talk) 18:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Old windows 7 installation.[edit]

Long story short, had hardware problem on system, misdiagnosed as software so reinstated 7.

Now theres a windows.old folder on primary disk. How can I revert back to this installation, please? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

This should help - [2] -- LarryMac | Talk 16:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
windows key + R, type cleanmgr.exe and click ok. Select the bottom left button which is something like clean up system files. Check the box for old windows installation and click ok. (talk) 02:23, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

How To Split A String Into An Array Of Characters In VBA (Not VB.NET) ?[edit]

Hello, I want to take a string and split it into an Array(or a Collection) of characters(each character that makes up the string) in Visual Basic for Applications, not VB.Net. I am using VBA in Microsoft Word 2007. How would I do this? Thanks for your help in advance. —SGA314 (talk) 16:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

You can look at this. Ruslik_Zero 19:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I am kind of limited to wiki only. For me this site is blocked. Sorry. —SGA314 (talk) 13:35, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

clang help[edit]

[First, an apology. I could probably answer these questions myself with the help of the Clang User's Manual, but I have not yet succeeded in obtaining a copy of the Clang User's Manual.]

My Mac was recently upgraded to OS X 10.9, and I'm having a little difficulty adjusting. Among other things, when I went to reinstall the C compiler, I discovered that what Xcode now gives you is clang, not the gcc suite I'm used to. Here are some of the issues I'm having:

  1. The error messages are a little... verbose. Each error gives you three lines of output, like this:
        geowalkoutlines.c:66:4: error: non-void function 'walkoutlines' should return a value [-Wreturn-type]
    Lines two and three are nice touches, I suppose, but I don't need them and I'd like to turn them off. The man page suggests there are command line flags -fshow-source-location and -fcaret-diagnostics controlling these, but it looks like those flags turn the options on, while I'd like to turn them off. Anybody know how to do that? Alternatively, anybody know where these options are getting turned on by default, so I can tinker with the defaults?
  2. The error message I mentioned in #1 is an error, not a warning. Anybody know if there's a way to suppress it, or change it from an error to a warning? (I have lots of old code that uses "implicit void", and I might not want to change it all right away.)
  3. The error messages are also in color, which is, shall we say, hard on my eyes. Anybody know how to turn that off? (Setting TERM to "dumb" works, but it feels very wrong to be doing that for a C compiler.)
  4. Anybody know where the standard header files are? They're not in /usr/include any more.
  5. Anybody know what the debugger is? It's kind of a shock to get "gdb: command not found", and my code is, alas, still not perfect. (But I'm no real fan of gdb any more, so if clang has its own, presumably better debugger, I'm happy to give it a try.)

Thanks for any help! —Steve Summit (talk) 00:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

The clang user manual is at Command line flags can be turned off with "no-" added, eg -fno-caret-diagnostics. lldb is the debugger. I'm not an expert on any of this but a quick google turned this up for me.-gadfium 04:20, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
-fno-color-diagnostics will help your eyes. You might be able to avoid the "implicit void" error if you set -std=c99 (or even -std=c94 or -std=c89); it defaults to c11.-gadfium 04:29, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not a Mac owner, but the standard include files should be in /Applications/
Wow! Thanks very much for all that. You're just about five for five!
Only remaining question, which I'm not finding in the manual so far, is whether there's a way to tune the clang defaults on a global basis. I'm surprised if they left this out, since they seem to have done a super complete job on everything else. I may have to figure out a way to put in a feature request. —Steve Summit (talk) 12:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
If there's nothing in your makefile (or equivalent) setting the defaults, take a look at the CFLAGS environment variable (CXXFLAGS for C++ options). CFLAGS may be being set up in your .profile or whatever the equivalent of that is on a Mac.-gadfium 19:01, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean by "implicit void"? It's undefined behavior to use the value of a function call that exited other than by a return statement with a value (C89, § Are you relying on implicit-int for your functions' return types and on the clients to ignore the values not being returned? --Tardis (talk) 14:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Precisely. That's how we did it back in the day (the pre-C89-days, that is), when type void hadn't even been invented yet. —Steve Summit (talk) 21:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

How to boot from a USB stick with an IBM Thinkpad[edit]

I have an old laptop (an IBM Thinkpad). It is probably from 2005 or so. It is running Windows XP. I want to upgrade it to Windows 8. I have Windows 8 on a USB stick. How can I get my laptop to boot from the USB stick (so that I can install the Windows 8 onto the laptop)? Thanks. I am not that computer-savvy, so please don't get too technical with a lot of computer/technical jargon. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:35, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Hold the F12 key when you power on the computer until the "Boot Menu" appears, and choose USB. -- BenRG (talk) 07:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't be certain that a Thinkpad that old will be able to run Windows 8: getting the drivers for the network, sound and video cards, etc. may be non-trivial. It's also possible that it won't boot from USB. Even if it does, my Thinkpads from that era have USB 1 interfaces, which are very, very slow. It's likely to take a looong time to install from USB. If it was me (and I'm pretty technically savvy) I wouldn't bother to try.--Phil Holmes (talk) 10:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, come to find out ... you are correct on all counts. (1) It will not boot from USB, after all. And (2) It will not be able to run Windows 8 at all, unless I upgrade some hardware first. I had not even thought of the slow USB 1 speed, either. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:13, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
A Thinkpad from 2005 should support USB 2.0 ([3], [4]) and be able to boot from USB ([5]). The T43 was first released in 2005, with a 1600–2260 MHz CPU and a Radeon X300 GPU, and Windows 8.1 works on it ([6]). Computers haven't really gotten much better in the last decade. That said, depending on the actual model and year, you may be limited to Windows 7. -- BenRG (talk) 18:04, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I was only ball-parking when I said "2005". Although, I think that must be close. In any event, I called Microsoft. They stated that I need various minimum requirements (so much RAM, certain processor speed, so much hard disk space, etc.) in order to run Windows 8. And I do not have those minimum requirements. Also, my laptop will definitely not boot from USB. And, even if it did — which it doesn't — my hardware will take "accept" Windows 8. I tried to install Windowss 8 with a CD (instead of the USB stick). And I got an error message that says something along the lines of "this computer is not capable of installing Windows 8". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Most of the Windows 8 "requirements" are not really required. The problem with your machine may be that it doesn't support NX, which is a real requirement (but not required by Windows 7). You could check that with a tool like Speccy (on the CPU page, on the Instructions line, look for "NX" in the list).
What type of Thinkpad is it? The type is 7 digits and letters, possibly with a hyphen, e.g. 2373-91U. It should be printed on a sticker on the bottom, and Speccy may also tell you (under Model on the Motherboard page).
Or you could just give up. :-) -- BenRG (talk) 19:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I was wondering myself what type of Thinkpad it is. What make, model number, etc. I will have to look at the sticker on the bottom, as you suggested. I didn't know it would be listed there. But, just today, I brought my laptop to a computer repair shop. So, they still have it. I won't get it back for a few days (plus, there is the holiday intervening). And, whatever the issue is, when I tried to install Windows 8, I did get that error message that prevented me from going any further with the installation process. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
You might be better getting a second HDD for the computer, and installing Win8 on it. However, given the age of your laptop it probably uses PATA drives rather than the newer SATA drives, and PATA 2.5" drives might be hard to find. I don't think you can get adaptors for mobile drives, as there is less room for them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LongHairedFop (talkcontribs) 10:46, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. This is basically an "extra" piece of junk laptop. I have two good computers that I use daily, a desktop and a laptop. I am just giving this old clunker to my Dad, so he has something to fiddle around with. He will not use the computer extensively at all. But, I still want it to have Windows 8 instead of Windows XP, if at all possible. This is just a minor project and really not all that important to me. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd stick with XP on that laptop. It's going to work a lot better than Windows 8, even if you can find a way to load it. StuRat (talk) 21:07, 26 May 2015 (UTC)


If I have a computer with 127 usb devices connected (the maximum), what happens if I connect one more? Does the computer crash, give an error, do nothing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

I had the situation where I had more USB devices plugged in than the PC would allow, and it seemed to do as follows:
1) Ignored any new USB devices plugged in after the max was reached.
2) At boot time it apparently depended on the somewhat random boot order, resulting in a random USB device being ignored.
Of course, I can't guarantee that all PCs will behave the same way. StuRat (talk) 17:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It probably depends on the computer and the specific USB host controller, but I suspect, most of the time it would do nothing, since it has run out of addresses to assign. The behaviour you describe, randomly deciding at boot up which it connects and which "miss out" makes sense, since the "boot up" time of each device would vary ever so slightly depending on power draw of the other devices etc, it would give enough "chaos" that the sequence in which they connect might change each time. I've only played a "bit" with usb controllers, but I get the impression that 127 was actually set as a limit that would "never be reached" in practice, so i'm not sure how well the limit is implemented. I suspect it's somewhat better than "crash the computer" but somewhat worse than "tell you the limit is reached and let you decide which device/s to ignore." Vespine (talk) 23:17, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
But I REALLY want to know what 127 USB devices you have plugged into your computer?? :) Also, by the by, I believe that the 127 limit is per CONTROLLER not per COMPUTER. A Computer can have more than one USB controller, in fact, these days I "think" it's pretty normal for most computers to have more than one USB controller (if you have USB3 controller you almost certainly also have a USB2 controller in the same computer), so I don't think there's anything stopping you from having more than 127 USB devices connected to one COMPUTER. Vespine (talk) 02:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

May 25[edit]

Multiple wikis on Bitnami MediaWiki stack?[edit]

How do you set up more than one wiki on a Bitnami MediaWiki stack? The installation procedure only assists in setting up one, and it doesn't reveal how it does it. How do you add a second wiki? The Transhumanist 04:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)


Where are the instructions on how to set up and use DBpedia? The Transhumanist 04:43, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

How to initialize an array of shared_ptr in C++[edit]

I want to allocate an array of shared pointers, and then loop through the array to initialize each element. However I can't figure out the right syntax for it:

  std::shared_ptr<int> intArray[2];
  intArray[0](new int);

What's the right syntax for this? My other car is a cadr (talk) 13:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

The standard way to initialize the array is with list initialization. Initializer lists have to be resolvable at compile-time, though, which the result of "new" is not. I don't believe there's any standard way to initialize an array with a run-time determined value. You probably just want to use a for loop to populate the array:
  int intArraySize(2);
  std::shared_ptr<int> intArray[intArraySize];
  for( int i(0); i < intArraySize; ++i ) {
      intArray[i] = std::shared_ptr<int>(new int);
Note you're assigning each element rather than using parenthesis/bracket initialization. Also, the "std::shared_ptr<int>" in the loop body is needed because the conversion of the raw pointer into shared_ptr needs to be "explicit" (to prevent you from accidentally converting something you don't want to and messing up the reference counts.). -- (talk) 16:21, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, if you have "programming help" questions (as opposed to general computer questions) you may want to look at StackOverflow, which is a more specialized question/answer site for programmers. (People here will certainly be willing to answer your questions, but you're likely to get more/better answers at a SO.) -- (talk) 16:24, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
You can only initialize an object when it's constructed. In your example, the shared_ptrs are constructed (and default-initialized) by the first statement. All you can do after that is overwrite them with new values. You can't use the constructor syntax for that; your second statement is a function call, which fails because shared_ptr doesn't define operator().
Contrary to what said, array initializers don't have to be compile-time constants. This works:
  std::shared_ptr<int> intArray[2] = {std::shared_ptr<int>(new int), std::shared_ptr<int>(new int)};
But it probably isn't useful unless you really only want two shared_ptrs.
In the loop or the initializer list, it is probably better to write std::make_shared<int>() instead of std::shared_ptr<int>(new int), since it will (probably) halve the number of allocations by allocating the int and its reference count together. -- BenRG (talk) 23:14, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, guys. My other car is a cadr (talk) 13:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

"Cloud this...", "Cloud that..." and NSA.[edit]

Nowadays, people talk alot about cloud computing and etc..
The question is how/why the hell cloud computing is becoming/became trendy on NSA surveilance era~?
Why dont people sort of bury this idea under the ground, or at least stop "masturbating" to cloud computing. Are those guys outside current reality? (talk) 16:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

In reality, not much has changed, if they wanted to, "The Government" could bug your phone line ever since phones were invented, they could intercept your mail ever since the post was invented. They could bug your livingroom if they really wanted to. They could track your car if they really wanted to. People still use phones, live in houses, post letters and drive cars without worrying too much about the government spying on them. And in reality, you'd have to be pretty paranoid to think that out of the millions of citizens, the government would give two hoots about you or what you do. Legitimate businesses, and even a lot of internet users might not care that the NSA can "spy" on them, since they have nothing to hide. As for specifically "cloud" computing, there's nothing "inherent" in cloud computing that makes it more voulnerable to "NSA Attack" or whatever you want to call "that" idea. Like with any technology you just weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and decide if it's worth it for your situation. Cloud can even be implemented just for services that don't contain any "sensitive data" that you care someone might be spying on, you could use it for non sensitive services, like a "web shop", why would anyone care if the NSA can spy on their store front? Vespine (talk) 22:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
"Since they have nothing to hide." The one who decide what is wrong is not the "legitimate business" owners. Someone saying he has nothing to hide is irrelevant, he is assuming he do nothing wrong according to his own point of view and unless he is the one who decide what point of view is used to check what is wrong or not, his point of view on this case is irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The technical difference is that back in the earliest days of bugging houses it took a crew of people and van full of equipment to install the bugs and to monitor one house. This was a rather expensive operation, ensuring that even in a police state only a small number of homes would actually be bugged. However, it has now become vastly cheaper to monitor the internet, and, using computers to flag items of interest, one person can effectively listen in on many conversations at once. So, it is now feasible for monitor everyone's internet usage, all the time. StuRat (talk) 18:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok the unsigned IP clearly has a bee in his bonnet about the NSA, I'm guessing chemtrail level paranoia. I personally am glad that true anonymity is very difficult on the internet, there have been more than enough social experiments that prove how absolutely horrible people can be if they're "guaranteed" anonymity without reprecussion. I see no reason to suppose the internet should or was ever intended to be "free" of laws and regulations, there is more than enough internet crime, terrorism, fraud, child abuse etc that the internet enables with the feeble laws that are in place. The internet is still in its infancy, call it the "wild west", people loved the freedom, but there was a high price for it too, the risk of being shot in the street by some drunk cowboy etc... MOST people in the modern world would not trade places with someone who lived in the wild west and I predict the internet will undergo similar "progress". Vespine (talk) 23:28, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
"I'm guessing chemtrail level paranoia." I dont know what chemtrail is (will have to check). Its not paranoia, its already set to stone USA spy people. Also this goes against USA constitution, so they made something illegal, I am not saying that because they made something illegal (implemented this surveilance system against constitution rules) they will use the NSA system to do illegal stuff. But the point is that they already made something illegal, so asking questions like "do you think the government would do something bad?" is stupid since the fact that NSA surveilance exist prove they did at least one illegal thing. (talk) 12:11, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Preview of dump data before downloading large file[edit]

Is there a way to preview a segment of the data before downloading a 1.5 GB dump file? I would like to know if the file contains the kind of data that I am looking for. Thank you for reading :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

If you're downloading on HTTP or HTTPS, you may find the server supports byte serving, which will allow you to ask to download only a small section of the file. For example, with cURL:
     curl -r 0-1023 > cat.partial.jpg
will download only the first 1k of the image. But some servers don't support this (they'll send the whole file regardless) or will only support it on some file types. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
There is the problem though, many of the files in the dumps are compressed SQL files, using the above command to get a segment of that file will yield unreadable output which is not helpful for determining the format and content of the dump file. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Depending on the type of compression used, you may be able to use the corresponding tools to "fix" the "damaged" archive that downloading only a chunk of it produces. For example, if the whole thing is a single zip archive with a bunch of SQL (text) files, you can try downloading a chunk using the above scheme (take as big a chunk as you can, so you get lots to work with) and then:
           zip -FF --out
Different tools like tar, 7z, etc. often have comparable repair modes. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:48, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Empty Characters Retrieved From String Data From TextBox Into Array Using VBA (Not VB.Net)?[edit]

Hello, I have a TextBox that I want to take the individual characters and put them into an Array (or a Collection). This would require 2 things: 1. I would have to take the string from the "Text" property of the text box and extract the individual characters. 2. Put those extracted, individual characters into a Collection or an Array. How would I do this in Visual Basic for Applications (I am using MS Word 2007 to do this)? I have already asked a similar question but not aimed at doing this with a Textbox. Also I can't go to any other web sites, I need the information to be here as I cant go to any external links. Thanks for your help in advance!

Edit: I can use the KeyPress event to record every character that's pressed and empty it into the Array or Collection but I don't have a way to tell if any characters have been deleted. Here is the code i am using to do this.

Public Chars As New Collection
Public i As Integer
Private Sub CharTextInput_KeyPress(ByVal KeyAscii As MSForms.ReturnInteger)
    Chars.Add Chr(KeyAscii), i
    i = i + 1
    'KeyAscii Is the character code that was pressed.
    'Chr() converts the specified character code to a character that is enclosed in a string.
    'Chars is a Collection (I like using Collections, their so easy to use!).
    'i is just the Key that is used to locate the character in the Collection.
End Sub

The problem with this is like I said, I don't have a way to identify when a character is deleted from the text box. This is why I need to use the string from the "Text" property to get the characters. —SGA314 (talk) 18:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Let's start with the string splitting functions:
Private Sub StringToArray(ByVal sString As String, ByRef asArray() As String)
    Dim i as Integer
    If Len(sString) = 0 Then
        '  sString is empty
        ReDim asArray(0)
        ReDim asArray(Len(sString) - 1)
        For i = 1 To Len(sString)
            asArray(i - 1) = Mid$(sString, i, 1)
    End If
End Sub
Private Sub StringToCollection(ByVal sString As String, ByRef colCollection As Collection)
    Dim i as Integer
    For i = 1 To Len(sString)
        colCollection.Add(Mid$(sString, i, 1))  
End Sub
Now, for the textbox handling. You can access the current text by just reading the CharTextInput.Text property - the issue is when to do this. Do you want to update something else while the user is typing in the text, or do you want to wait until the user has finished entering the text? Tevildo (talk) 00:20, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I want to update the collection every time something changes in the textbox. I think I would have to clear the Collection and then load the characters into the Collection again. I can use the TextBox Changed Event to do this, right? Thank you so much for your help. I didn't know about the Mid function. Thanks again. —SGA314 (talk) 13:10, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes! I did it! Here is what I came up with based on your way:
Public Chars As New Collection
Private Sub CharTextInput_Change()
    Dim i As Integer
    Dim Text As String
    Text = CharTextInput.Text
    For i = 1 To Chars.Count
        Chars.Remove (CStr(i))
    For i = 1 To Len(Text)
        Chars.Add Mid$(Text, i, 1), CStr(i)
End Sub

So the first thing I do is, I Empty the Text from the TextBox into a String. Next I proceed to clear the Chars Collecteion(In VBA for MS Word 07, the Collection dosen't have a Clear() method) by going through and removing each one.

Finally I use your String Splitting piece of code, only this time I Set the key for each element as the String version of whatever I currently equals in the Loop. Now When I want to access the characters in the Collection, I just do this:

For Each Char In Chars
'Do Whatever With the variable 'Char'

Thanks sooo much for your help. —SGA314 (talk) 13:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

Annoying pony videos[edit]

[question moved here from the miscellaneous desk]

Lots of annoying pony videos show up on my YouTube recommended videos and it's so embarrassing since i don't even watch that sort of cartoons. Could any one of your kind souls work this out for me...? I don't fancy when I am in the middle of a power point me clicking on YouTube and pony videos popping up. That would be so embarrassing and it would be the worst possible thing for me for social stuff and getting teased.

If this doesn't happen when you are using private browsing mode and aren't logged on to your account but only happens with your normal browser, then it's likely Google has decided these are the sort of thing you want. In that case, if you aren't logged in to an account, clear your cookies. If you are logged in to your account, you'll either have to delete your history, or open and subscribe to enough other stuff that it will start showing different stuff. However this may not work, or won't work long term if the reason this arose in the first place keeps occuring. If it's not an account problem but it is a shared computer, you should create seperate OS or browser profile for youself which only you use. If it it's an account problem, are you sure you are keeping your account secure? Nil Einne (talk) 18:54, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! Yes I am keeping my account secure. Why would Google decide that though....? I don't have any younger sisters or brothers to do that so I am stumped. I don't fancy deleting my history because someone might get the wrong idea. I've got different accounts for each family member so no one could have made a mistake. The videos show mostly the Mane 6 with some Princess Celestia and Princess Luna to boot. No fun indeed. I know about that because of pony spamming on forums and stuff. (talk) 19:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

If getting caught with ponies would be the worst possible thing for you, giving someone the wrong idea by deleting history should be the relatively safer option.
Remember, Google doesn't just build your demographic profile from YouTube videos you watch, but anything you do on any site it has trackers and widgets and whatnot in. For instance, launches scripts from and If that's not the forum you've learned about how friendship is magic at, it probably also applies to the one where you did.
If you Google something like "why is my little pony in my recommended videos?", you're just associating yourself further. But when I Googled it (protected somewhat by NoScript), I found this, which suggests you're not alone. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:08, May 24, 2015 (UTC)
You can check here to find out what Google thinks you like, and tell it to stop guessing, if you'd like. If it doesn't suggest you like ponies, it might just be that the brony community has an effective viral marketing strategy, and you've been touched by it. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:17, May 24, 2015 (UTC)

I have tried using the ad check but it showed nothing. I do not like MLP so I have not gone on any forums nor listened to any of the MLP videos on my recommended videos on YouTube. I had a look at the thread but it was useless due to the fact that it showed no tips to deal with it and the thread was mostly mudslinging at YouTube or calling the OP a brony. So why does it continue to happen. Do you have any more tips. Thank you. (talk) 15:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Could someone please response. Also the videos are still there and there seems to be a lot of links to MLP Forums and FiMfiction but I don't know why. Could any of you please help. Thanks! (talk) 21:19, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Nil Einne, why so afraid? Pony rocks man! Read this article My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom. —SGA314 (talk) 13:55, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
@SGA314: Not sure what you referring to. I personally couldn't give a damn if MLP videos show up in my feed and never suggested I did. However the OP wanted help so I offered it. Nil Einne (talk) 22:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I am not afraid of ponies. Also I really do not like MLP and I have no idea why FiMFiction and MLPForums are on my tabs screen. Also there is some sort of MLP fan game music too. I think it's called MLP:Fighting is Magic or something. And it's mostly Fluttershy and with some Twilight Sparkle as well. I don't listen to such music or such girly western animation. Why does it continue to show. Could you help me please. School is a brutal place and I do not want someone to think that I might even enjoy something so girly. I actually don't like it but I don't want someone to think otherwise. Thanks! (talk) 16:31, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I am just going to leave this here... --Guy Macon (talk) 18:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Could you please tell me what you are trying to say. I don't get it. Anyway I do not watch such a girly show such as MLP the main concern is the pony videos on MY YouTube. Not only that but I am not a fan. At all. I do know a lot but I assure you I am not a Brony! School can misjudge a lot and thus I don't want the school thinking I like such girly shows. Could you give me any tips please on the videos and why they appear. PS I think all of you are good people who will go to heaven when you die. Thanks! (talk) 19:04, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Try watching videos that are completely unrelated to Pony. Like watch a Within Temptation music video, or something that is unrelated. Not even in the ball park. Youtube will try to give you videos that you might like, although it has failed miserably.

YouTube just likes to spam pony stuff. I do like reading about fanfiction about MLP but not the show itself. I would NEVER dare watch such girly show's ok! Anyway YouTube just's like that in general. And it's tough to avoid looking at pony stuff in order to annoy the bronies but sadly I do not have a YouTube account so everypony just thinks I like the show. Why must this terrible nonsense continue! Thanks! PS No matter what any pony spamming forums tell you about me being a secret brony it's not true! (talk) 19:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The videos may hang around for a long time. I still have Youtube insisting that I want to see Peppa Pig for a year now after my granddaughter watched some. Strange but your last line in your last comment makes me think of the line from Garageland (song). CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 02:32, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

There is still a awful lot of MLP:FiM videos on my YouTube. Could you please help..? Also there's links to EqD and FiMFiction along with MLPForums. It's quite annoying since school is quite a judgmental place and I do not want to have to endure teasing sbout MLP:FiM. I really, really do not like ponies! Thank you. (talk) 19:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Using old menus in Microsoft Word 2007[edit]

Is there a way to use Microsoft Word 2007 and use the menus that were in older versions of Word?

Thanks, CBHA (talk) 03:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I haven't tried it myself, but there is a free tool to give you classic menus. See How To Bring Back the Old Menus in Office 2007.-gadfium 04:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, don't install that just yet. There are reports that it can be difficult to uninstall and that some downloads may contain a virus. Wait until others on this refdesk chime in and check any download thoroughly with a virus checker.-gadfium 04:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Here's the web site; I haven't tried it but it certainly looks legitimate to me. What reports are you talking about? I searched for "UBitMenu virus" and only saw a few of those scam sites that have boilerplate pages for every software product in existence. -- BenRG (talk) 07:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I've been using UbitMenu since Microsoft inflicted the ribbon on us. It has worked well on M$Office 2007, 2010 and 2013. I have never had a problem with it and the virus checkers have never flagged the download as being infected. I highly recommend it. --TrogWoolley (talk) 13:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I didn't realise that some sites report everything as a virus. So long as you download it from the original site, as linked by BenRG, you should be fine. Avoid third party sites which offer you freeware as they sometimes bundle other software into the installer.-gadfium 22:01, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Compute MD5 hash of string in VBA(Not VB.NET)?[edit]

Hello, can anyone tell me how to compute an MD5 hash of a specified string using Visual Basic for Applications? Thanks for your help in advance. —SGA314 (talk) 19:12, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

This question on StackOverflow has some example code. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
As i have said before(in a previous post) i can't go to any other website for information on this topic except here on wiki. Sorry. Could you post some of the example code? I am so sorry. If i had complete internet access in would just Google it. Hence why i am asking here. Thanks. —SGA314 (talk) 15:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The stackoverflow page has VB.NET not VBA sample code. There's pseudo-code on the MD5 article. It might be better to roll your own MD5 function. LongHairedFop (talk) 18:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Stepping through an animated gif file?[edit]

Is there a way to step through (or freeze/unfreeze a frame of) an "animated" gif file such as

Franks expansion.gif

Contact Basemetal here 21:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

What I've done is to bust it up into individual, single-frame images (I forget if I used gifsicle or one of the NetPBM tools for this), and then view and step through the collection in an image viewer (for me, typically MacOS Preview). —Steve Summit (talk) 21:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Open the image in Gimp. You can click on each layer (frame of animation) to view each one independently. (talk) 13:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Windows live mail ignores my Header[edit]

Hi there,
I got a php file that sends mail.
These are my header settings:

MIME-Version: 1.0 \r\n Content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 \r\nFrom:\r\n

Unfortunately, when a client gets a mail, windows live ignores my encoding setting and presents it as gibberish.
Does anyone know why it happens?Thanks!Exx8 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 03:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Do you really have a space between \n and Content-type? If so, that's your problem: a header line that starts with whitespace is a continuation of the previous field body, not a new field (RFC 2822 § 2.2.3). -- BenRG (talk) 06:22, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Excel help required[edit]

Unfortunately I have very restricted internet access in work; or I could probably Google the answer myself but I'm appealing to you wonderful people to hopefully help.

We have two different Departments who both require access to an Excel file in its most up to date condition:

1) Department 1 regularly updates the file during the day
2) Department 2 only require access to read but have a bad habit of not closing the file when they have finished with it and then leaving the office to go on site, causing problems for Department 1

Is there a way (or ways) around this. I *think* that restricting Department 2 to read only access would still prevent Department 1 from opening the file to edit? (talk) 06:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I'd consider making a copy of the file for Dept.2 and configuring a job on the server to update the copy regularly, say every 5 minutes during a working day. If Dept.2 staff leave the copy open so it could not be overwritten, then they will have outdated copy, but the main file can still be updated by Dept.1.
Anyway the possible solutions depend on the environment – operating systems, user privileges, admin co-operability etc. --CiaPan (talk) 09:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
yes, I figured it was going to need some sort of scripting on the server. Thank you for your time in any case (talk) 12:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Rather than copying every 5 minutes, perhaps it could copy the file whenever they attempt to open it. Thus they would always get the current version and there would hopefully be fewer copies made.
You might also consider restricting department 2's access to only run reports on the file, not allowing them to read it at all. Presumably the report generating software is smart enough to close the file immediately after the report is generated.
A third option might be to change the read-only access to not lock the file. (I'm not sure if Excel allows this.) The whole idea of file-locking is to prevent getting outdated info, but you may not consider that as important, in this case. StuRat (talk) 12:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
[EC] Having been in a similar workplace position, I find the most satisfying solution is to smack Department 2 upside the head every time they do it, until they get the message.
Alternatively, if Department 2 only requires access to read, than if Department 1 keeps the file permanently open during the working day, Department 2 should still be able to open it in "Read Only" mode which should answer their needs. I myself regularly consult an Excel file from the 'Department 2' position, and can, for example, add entries and/or reformat it as I require for partial printouts of certain columns only, but of course cannot save such changes. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:32, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that Excel will not try to lock a read-only file. If the whole directory is read-only then it wouldn't be able to create the lock file anyway. So I think that denying write access to Department 2 will solve your problem. It's worth a try, anyway. -- BenRG (talk) 21:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Why does IP Address keep changing ?[edit]

I have been using a public computer (a PC at a local LearnDirect centre) for tha past few weeks & when I've been able to check the "Last Account Activity" in my email (gmail), it says that the activity current session is a different location to where I actually am. For example today it says: Netherlands ( I'm not in the Netherlands but in Liverpool, England. In the past it said Poland, China, Denmark etc. Any ideas whats going on ? (talk) 08:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC) Also, I don't know if this is relevent but the LearnDirect centre IT is by someone called Zscaler185.46.212.70 (talk) 09:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like it might be using rotating anonymous proxy servers. If they set it up that way they must have felt the anonymity of their users was important. StuRat (talk) 12:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Well today, nearly everybody had some sort of trouble trying to login to their Hotmail, Outlook, etc accounts. (talk) 12:37, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

If you want to log in to Wikipedia using this server, you should register an account. Wikipedia blocks IP addresses that are known to be anonymous proxies, because they facilitate vandalism. Robert McClenon (talk) 12:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Fedora machine - display freezing[edit]

I'm looking for some guidance on where to look for this problem (which I presume must be a hardware fault, but I don't know in which component).

I have a PC (64 bit Intel Duo, 2.2GHz) running Fedora Linux. Until last week it was running Fedora 20; last week I installed F21, in case it wasn't a hardware problem. From time to time (more often now, usually after no more than an hour) the display freezes. The cursor continues to move following the mouse, and if I use Ctrl-Alt-F2 to get to a console, that works perfectly (as does an ssh session running on the machine). I'm running Cinnamon as desktop, with lightdm - I was formerly running it with gdm, but substituting lightdm made no observable difference. On the other hand selecting "Cinnamon (software)" as desktop, while it makes most things intolerably slow, seems to avoid the problem. I've had a quick look at dmesg, and the lightdm and Xorg log files: I don't see anything obviously panicking, but I don't really know what I'm looking for.

When I was playing about with installing F21, I tried running many of the hardware tests on the Ultimate Boot CD: nothing turned up.

Can anybody suggest where to look to narrow down the problem? --ColinFine (talk) 11:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Could be low RAM (swapping to paging space could explain the intolerably slow part, and that happens when RAM is low). How much do you have ? Also, is the problem more likely to occur after you've been using it for a while and started up multiple apps ? StuRat (talk) 12:17, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I suspect RAM - which will not report any error anywhere. I've also seen this happen because of a faulty bus controller - which also caused errors in sound, but also did not report any error anywhere. However, you should check /ver/log/Xorg.0.log for warnings and/or errors - though I doubt you will see anything. (talk) 12:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
In January, I provided advice to a different Fedora user with a similar symptom. The system had different installed display manager software, but the same general troubleshooting steps apply. When the display lags, is the entire system unresponsive (or only the display)? Can you monitor the system via an ssh session or a serial console so you can interactively diagnose these problems while the UI is unavailable? In my earlier response, I provided some useful links and some debugging advice, as well as the prognosis: unless this is a very common bug, we are unlikely to be able to find and fix its root cause by simple descriptions of the symptom alone.
Of course, if you do follow my instructions and collect debugging information, be sure you sample the LightDM process and direct your bug report to the LightDM mailing list contact, using their instructions for filing bugs (and not for the Cinnamon project team - that information applied to User:JIP's system as of January).
Nimur (talk) 14:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions, Nimur. I have 2Gb of RAM, which I would have thought was adequate. However, it occurs to me that when I've seen the problem I'm always running Firefox (37.0.2) and I remember that Firefox certainly used to be a memory hogger. I've usually got Thunderbird going as well, but not more than one or two other things. I certainly could ssh in when I tried. I'll look at the previous discussion. --ColinFine (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2015 (UTC)